Here’s Tom Kelly, candidate for Vermont House in Barre City, former Washington County state’s attorney, former Lamoille County deputy state’s attorney, since reduced (of his own volition) to addressing a crowd of anti-vaxxers.
How the respectable have fallen.
Kelly served two four-year terms as Washington County’s top prosecutor. His six-year tenure at Lamoille County ended with his firing in November 2021 due to his refusal to take the Covid vaccine or wear a mask at work. His talk before the anti-vax group Health Choice Vermont happened a couple of weeks later, and it’s the usual overheated rhetoric about freedom and tyranny.
Here’s his measured view of the vaccine requirement: “Are we in the midst of another attempt to enslave America? To enslave Vermont?”
He also blasted his boss’ “decision to require me to wear a mask at all worksites (like a proverbial leper) and submit to periodic testing.”
Oh, the tyranny. God help this man if he should ever suffer actual tyranny. He’s way too soft for that.
The usual campaign coverage, with one notable exception, completely fails to chronicle his hardcore anti-vax views.
A story on the Vermont Daily Chronicle about Kelly’s candidacy kickoff shared his prosecutorial tenure and his alleged advocacy of mainstream conservatism. Kelly slammed the Dem/Prog supermajorities in the Legislature, said climate-change “risked job losses and dramatic increases in the cost of heating,” and opposed Article 22 as “too vague” without committing himself to a position on abortion. (Spoiler alert: he’s actively anti-abortion.) See, all he wants is more balance in Montpelier.
In a write-by-numbers piece on the Barre City House race just after the August primary, the Times Argus depicted Kelly as a “twice-elected Washington County States Attorney” and reported that he was “humbled” by his primary victory. Nothing about his tenure in Lamoille or how it ended, or his subsequent anti-vax activism.
The paper did much better in a piece posted today, October 31*, about a candidates’ forum that occurred on October 5. The delay was unexplained.
*Note: The piece was published on October 17, not 31. So only twelve days after the event, not 26.
The story included his Lamoille departure and the reasons why. It also reported his 2020 election skepticism: there were “legitimate questions” about the result. He acknowledged Joe Biden’s presidency as a fact, not necessarily a legitimate outcome: “…the president of the United States is Mr. Biden and I respect that that’s the way it is,”
How big of him.
Also this nugget: “He is the local organizer for 40 Days for Life, an organization that protests abortion, including outside the Planned Parenthood in Barre.”
Yeah, I don’t think his opposition to Article 22 is because of its “vague” wording.
Kelly is running in a two-seat district and unfortunately for the good people of Barre, he’s only the second most extreme Republican on the ballot. His running mate is none other than Brian Judd, never-say-die Trump supporter and local election conspiratorialist who refused to accept his 2021 defeat for City Council and dragged out the process for more than a year.
So that’s the Republican buffet spread before the voters of Barre City. Fortunately, they routinely elect Democrats, so we shouldn’t worry about these guys serving in the Legislature. They’re just two more stains on the VTGOP escutcheon.